In the development of space craft design index, the requirements of hypersonic space craft control accuracy has been increasingly rigorous. Thin-walled structure is often employed in hypersonic craft to reduce the weight of the load and to save the room. During the flight of the craft, temperature field is produced along the surface and the dynamic properties of the craft structure are obviously changed. The decreasing elastic modulus of the structure material and the appearance of thermal stress lead to the decrease of integral rigidity and stability of the structure, then the thermal flutter appears and control difficulties increase. Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) has the advantages of the considerable driving force in the compact volume and the simple driving method. By the combination of actuator structure design and stiffness control, the smart structure is able to make active control to the thermal stiffness variation.

In this paper, the apex high-temperature area is equivalent to a ring structure. Finite difference method is employed firstly to transform the governing partial differential equation into discrete finite difference equations. Then the elastic modulus change, thermal stress and tension along the circumference are considered comprehensively to propose the calculation formulas of equivalent young’s modulus. The discrete dynamic matrix model is obtained containing the control terms of SMA. To solve the big-matrix calculation and multiple iterated large data problem, hybrid program is developed with C++ and MATLAB. Finite element software is employed to make optimization analysis to design an expanding loop actuator containing SMA as driving source, variable thickness loops of spring steel as expanding units, and universal-ball pre-loading units. On the basis of that, the thermal stiffness variation active control system with smart structure is developed based on expanding loop SMA actuator. After the analysis of examples, the variation law of the needed SMA driving force is obtained. The distribution position and quantity of the driving source is optimized. This research provides reference for the Theoretical Analysis and Simulation of structure stiffness active control and adaptive control of the aircraft employing smart material. The research results have guiding significance for the smart structure design of hypersonic aircraft in the future.

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